August 15, 2004
The Poseidon Adventure and Armageddon
We just watched two movies in the last week and it struck me how similar they were. Both of them had tough leading characters who sacrificed themselves for the good of the others.
In the 1972 movie, Poseidon Adventure, Gene Hackman playing the Reverend Frank Scott led a small group of people almost to freedom from a sinking ship. He spent the entire movie riding another character, Mike Rogo, a police officer who has had a rough career up to that point. Shortly before he died, Reverend Scott told Mike Rogo that maybe they were two of a kind. He motivated Mike to lead the others on to safety, then he prayed to God for help and sacrificed himself to open a passageway they needed to go through.
In the 1998 movie, Armageddon, Bruce Willis playing the Texas well driller Harry S. Stamper, led a small group of people to an asteroid headed toward the earth in order to drill a hole in it, fill it with a nuclear bomb and split it in half so it would miss the earth. He almost made it but not quite. He spent the entire movie riding another character, A.J. Frost, who was in love with his daughter. Shortly before Harry died he told A.J. that he was like his own son. He motivated A.J. to finish the job and to take care of his daughter. He also prayed to God for a little help, and then sacrificed himself for the good of mankind.
In these stories both characters prayed to God for help. Then they proceeded with determination in their missions and came to the realization that they had to sacrifice themselves to save the rest. The solution to the problem at hand might not have seemed like a very good one to the main characters in these movies, but they did it anyway. They were resolved to do it and were at peace with their decision.
Iíve experienced something similar to the characters in these stories, although not in life or death situations like in a disaster movie. Many times in my life I have found myself in a situation where I prayed to God to ask for a solution to a problem, only to have God tell me that I was the solution. For instance, once I was walking down the sidewalk in Downtown at lunch time, and there was a drunk man who appeared to be homeless. He was throwing up on the sidewalk. I said a quick prayer to God to help him. The answer I got back was, ďSo what are you going to do about it?Ē Thatís not exactly the answer I wanted to hear at that time. I ended up stopping and talking to this man for a half an hour, buying him some coffee and listening to his story. As we parted, he said he was going to go get some rest and sober up. I was late getting back to my office and had to make up the time lost at work, but to me it was worth it.
Iíve found that the answer often involves a self sacrifice. When our eyes are opened to a problem, we have a choice about what to do about it. Itís much easier to close our eyes and hope someone else takes care of it. But to me thatís kind of like coming across a car accident, seeing the injured people, knowing they need help, and then running away because itís too much for us to bear or too far out of our comfort zone or requires too much involvement. Now when I pray to God for a solution, I approach it with a sense of peace and determination. I still pray for help, but I also pray for my willingness to be part of the solution.
Unlike the movies there are many every-day heroes in this world that go unnoticed for their sacrifices, like a single mom I know who gave up her weekend to work because she only had half of her car payment for the month. They donít ask for recognition or compensation. They just do what they know in their hearts is the right thing to do regardless of the personal cost or level of involvement. They all share something in common: A willingness to be part of the solution.
Posted by carl1236 at August 15, 2004 10:15 PM | Love your Neighbor